Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Chief Chilonga breathes fire at attempts to change orphanage name to Auxilia Mnangagwa

By Garikai Mafirakureva | Chipinge Times |

CHIREDZI – The Shangani people of Chiredzi including their chief are against an alleged proposal to change the name of Chambuta Refugee Camp to Auxillia Mnangagwa Children’s Home.

Sources said that the first Lady Auxillia will be in Chiredzi this Saturday for the ceremony and is expected to change the name.

Chief Chilonga, born Tiyani Chilonga confirmed the first lady is coming on Saturday, but complained about the proposed change to The Mirror.

He described it as an adulteration of history adding that his people are comfortable with the current name. He detested the fact that Government was always imposing changes on his people.

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Chiredzi District Development Coordinator (DDC), Lovemore Chisema repeatedly said that he was in a meeting.

Sources said the proposal to change the name is coming from the First Lady and the reasons for the proposed change are that she has been sourcing resources for the home for over three years.

This was after the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) handed over to the First Lady, Chambuta Children’s Home in Chilonga, Chiredzi North on October 25, 2021.

Through the Angel of Hope Foundation she identified Chambuta as place to provide shelter to Children on the streets.

“The community is comfortable with the current name. Government imposes such things on us because they think Shangaans are uneducated. We are waiting to see what will happen on Saturday,” warned Chilonga.

Efforts to get a comment from the minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira could not be reached for comment as his mobile was not reachable.

The Shangani have recently been at loggerheads with Government on several issues including notices of evictions of villagers from their land over new agricultural projects, the reintroduction of Karanga chieftainships in their area, and their alleged exclusion from sugarcane projects.

“We thought the renaming of places was over. We know so many places were renamed after independence. For example, Fort Victoria was renamed Masvingo, Gatooma to Kadoma, and Salisbury to Harare.

“We don’t understand why someone would rename a place more than two decades after independence,” said Chilonga.

Chambuta Refugee Camp was founded in 1988 to shelter over 20 000 Mozambican refugees displaced by civil war in their country. The refugees left Chambuta in 1992 when they returned to their country after the civil war ended.

The First Lady adopted the home for her projects in 2021 and has over the years sponsored things like beds, furniture and refurbishment. The home has 59 inmates and Mnangagwa enlisted local authorities to support Chambuta.

Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) director Ephraim Mtombeni said they have noted with great concern that they would want to rename the place without consulting the community.

“There is nothing with renaming a place, but we feel those living in that area should be consulted first if they approve of it. It is high time they treat Shangaans as people. The community wants their name. So, why change it except if it’s for self-aggrandizement?, asked Mtombeni.